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Chris Stapleton hits No. 1 after winning big at CMAs

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Becky Fluke

Following Chris Stapleton’s big night at Wednesday’s Country Music Awards, his debut album Traveller has hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Stapleton, the songwriter who penned tunes for the likes of Adele, Luke Bryan, and Kenny Chesney before going solo, released the collection back in May and initially peaked at No. 14 before disappearing. It had only sold 96,000 copies before Stapleton nabbed awards for best male vocalist, best new artist, and best album, but Stapleton’s fresh accolades helped the album sell 177,000 more copies. The sales, which well surpassed the number of copies of Traveller purchased prior to the CMAs, helped Stapleton’s album shoot from total absence on the charts to the top spot.

Country owned the top of Billboard 200 chart this week, with CMAs co-host Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, who released a surprise album Mr. Misunderstood last week, taking the second and third spots, respectively. But neither artist cracked 80,000 units sold, making Stapleton the week’s clear winner in sales.

Beyond taking home some of the night’s biggest awards, Stapleton also took the stage with Justin Timberlake for the evening’s most memorable performance. “I was less than nervous, I was excited,” Stapleton told EW of the collaboration. “Having Justin in the room elevates everybody — not just everybody on the stage, but everybody in the room. He’s that guy, he has that kind of talent.”